Andrew Court, Daily Mail, December 30, 2020
An SUV driver and his mother say they thought they were going to be killed after a gang of teenagers surrounded their car and began smashing it up in New York City.
The shocking incident occurred in broad daylight in the heart of Manhattan on Tuesday – evidence that Big Apple officials are failing to protect residents amid surging rates of violent crime.
Max Torgovnick, 36, was driving in the BMW with his mom when they encountered the large group of youngsters biking up Fifth Avenue near 21st Street.
The pair had just dropped off a holiday donation to a local charity when their vehicle was viciously set upon.
According to eyewitnesses, the teens began blocking traffic and started to attack the luxury car.
Shocking video shows several teens punching the BMW’s windows and stomping on its hood.
One youngster can be seen jumping on top of the SUV and smashing in its front windshield.
Bystanders say there were up to 50 teens on the scene, many of whom cheered as the windshield was kicked in.
The cowardly collective of youngsters quickly fled on their bicycles as pedestrians shouted at them to go home.
Another witness said the attackers spat on the car and broke a handle as they tried to open the door and get inside.
The BMW was adorned with medical license plates, but that did nothing to deter the gang of brazen teens.
Torgovnick was forced to dial 911 with police nowhere to be seen. By the time cops arrived at the scene, the teens had sped off. No arrests have been made.
One witness said Torgovnick’s mother was ‘shaking and in tears’.
‘We were trapped, there was so much violence, I thought I was going to die,’ she reportedly said.
Torgovnick says he has lived in New York all his life and could never have previously imagined such a scenario occurring on the streets of his home city.
‘That’s something like you would see on the streets of a war zone. I never thought New York would get this bad,’ he told The New York Post.
I was afraid that they were going to break the window, get in the car, reach in, and pull us out,’ Torgovnick stated.
‘My only thoughts at that moment were self-defense, [that] I wanted to protect my mother and I also didn’t want to hurt anyone.’
It comes as New York authorities struggle to combat a surge in crime.
Crime stats from the four weeks between November 30 – December 27 show violent crime is far higher than it was at the same time last year.
In the 28 days to December 27 2020 there were 21 murders – an increase of 61.5 percent when compared with the same dates in 2019.
There was also a 4.2 percent increase in rapes, and a staggering 122.4 percent surge in shootings.
Violent crime began spiking following a $1 billion cut to the NYPD’s budget which was approved this past summer following passionate protests to defund the police.
Officials have failed to take responsibility for the surge in crime, instead shifting blame.
NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea told NY1 earlier this month that changes to bail laws as well as progressive policies that encourage criminal justice reform are making the city more dangerous.
‘Until we come to that realization as a society — is this what we want?’
‘It’s good to have philosophical discussions about ‘end mass incarceration’ and ‘end incarceration’ but you don’t want to do it by turning the innocent public into jails in their own apartments and houses.’
Shea’s boss, Mayor Bill de Blasio, pushed back on the commissioner’s comments.
The mayor told reporters at a City Hall meeting on December 8 that the surge in violent crime this year can be pinned on an ‘absolute perfect storm’ that hit New York this year.
‘You cannot combine a massive health crisis, tens of thousands of people dying, hospitals overwhelmed, economy is shut down, schools are shut down, houses of worship shut down, society not having its normal moorings all at once, a social justice crisis…’ the mayor said.
‘Come on, this is not like anything we have seen in our history and I believe not like anything we will see again in our lifetimes.’
De Blasio acknowledged there had been an ‘uptick in violence’ though he added that it is ‘clearly being addressed because we’re regluing the situation together again.’